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The Owl Keeper

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3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  688 ratings  ·  129 reviews
Maxwell Unger has always loved the night. He used to do brave things like go tramping through the forest with his Gran after dark. He loved the stories she told him about the world before the Destruction--about nature, and books, and the silver owls. His favorite story, though, was about the Owl Keeper.
Max's Gran is gone now, and so are her stories of how the world used to...more
Paperback, 306 pages
Published April 5th 2011 by Yearling (first published April 13th 2010)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Kate
The Owl Keeper is a non-stop, action packed ball of awesomeness. Based on the novel's summary, I figured I was in for a tale just about a boy and owls. Thought there also might be a little fantasy sprinkled in to keep things going. Wrong. Christine Brodien-Jones carefully mixes in hints of dystopian, mystery, adventure, and fantasy to create hands down the best novel aimed at younger teens that I have read since the Harry Potter series.

To say the least, Christine Brodien-Jones and The Owl Keeper...more
Mel
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan
Eleven-year-old Max Unger lived with his parents in a world of the future, a few decades after the Great Destruction of 2066. Because he was told he had a sun allergy, he stayed indoors in the daytime. At night, he loved to wander in the light of the 2 moons, and dream of caring for owls, who were also creatures of the dark. His special love was silver owls, and he was horrified when he heard that the High Echelon wanted to eliminate all of them. Max's Gran had told him silver owls were special,...more
Kitty Bullard
My overall reaction to this novel is extremely favorable. I have definitely found another all time favorite children's author. My 12 year old daughter read the book and demanded I read it right after she was done. In her words, "Mom, this is one of the greatest books I have ever read, there has to be a second book!" She promptly made me stop what I was doing and look up the author to find out. When I told her there were other novels by Mrs. Jones she let me know with profound importance that she...more
Theresa Milstein
This review is from my nine-year-old daughter Mia:

The Owl Keeper is a dystopian book that has fantasy in it.

It was about a boy named Max who can't go out in the light because he's allergic to sun particles. Yet it's mysterious because no one will tell him anything, like what his parents do at their work. Max has started to forget lots of things about his past. He has an owl on a tree outside his house that he sneaks to at night. The government says there are no owls. Max thinks the government l...more
Danika Dinsmore
I was really drawn to this book by the concept. It sounded so original. A boy living in a post-apocalyptic world who is allergic to the daylight and in search of The Owl Keeper. A combination dystopia - fantasy, two of my favourite genres.

I was a bit disappointed, though. I couldn't get emotionally invested in the main characters, who were underdeveloped. Max was an extremely passive protagonist. Instead of deducing and investigating and discovering and being ingenious, he coincidentally overhea...more
Val
I so wanted to love this book. The idea for the story was great but the stilted dialog and under developed plot really made it lack. I can see younger readers who might not care too much about the little details, enjoying this book. However, as a librarian I was very disappointed in how the author failed to resolve or describe some of the side stories and the reason as to why the world was in such turmoil. Where did the High Echelon come from in the first place?? Why were they imprisoning childr...more
Teeyanna
It was one of the weirdest books I have ever read in my life! But....................I loved it. I really loved this book. How you didn't know if the two main characters would make a love story,or just a classic friendship one. It was very good. The suspense will eat you up. Especially the parts when you find out something that you never knew. Its a big deal.
Lily
This was a very good book. It was scary in some parts. My favorite part is when they were chased by the Misshapens.
Jeanette
1 1/2 stars. This book had no idea what it wanted to be about.
Lilibeth
With only memories of his Gran, small treasures that were sneaked past Mrs.Cumlin's inspections, Maxwell Unger lives through the night and dark of the High Echelon's world. Getting monthly injections of grotesque liquid was a result of Max's allergy to "sun particles." The stories of silver owls and Silver Prophecies are practically forbidden to speak. So is Max's Gran's death. With the slow deterioration of his memory, Max tries to visit his owl tree and his silver owl every night. One night he...more
Katieb (MundieMoms)
I am so captivated by the cover. It's beautiful. The illustrations at the beginning of each chapter are just as intriguing. Get ready to be swept away into an amazing world where nothing is what it seems, and as the darkness is taking over the world, the hope of many rests on two eleven and twelve year olds.

Max and Rose live in a world that has been taken over by The High Echelon. They have destroyed everything that was good in the world, and have killed off most of the animals, altered the wea...more
Cat
Beautifully written, fantastic story. I will certainly buy more books from this author. Brilliant debut!

(from my blog)
This book was beautifully written. The story was beautiful, the descriptions were beautiful the relationship between Max and his owl and yes, even Rose was beautiful.

This story was also creepy in a way that I was not expecting. Guess what? I stumbled into yet another dystopian novel and didn’t even know it! I was just so happy that my crappy library had this book when none of the...more
Julie
This book was an exercise in frustration. The main character, a 12 year old boy, was unbelievably dumb; and I felt an insult to all 12 year old boys. The main themes were beyond a fantasy distopia. Do you really want themes of all government is evil; and don't trust your baby sitter-she's drugging you, for 10 year old kids? I was offended too that the main character's parents were "too tired from working all day in the chocolate factory" to notice that the baby sitter was evil?! Owls are hugely...more
Martin
This book includes some of my favorite elements in a story. This story revolves around Maxwell Unger, an eleven-year old boy living in a country ruled by the High Echelon, a corrupt government with absolute power. Maxwell has never been outside during the day due to his supposed allergy to sunlight, instead he sneaks out at night to play with a silver owl he has cared for, believed to be the last in existence. It is on one of these nights that he meets Rose, a spirited girl who slowly coaxes him...more
Diane
The Owl Keeper is written for a juvenile (grades 5-8) audience. The plot is interesting - good vs evil, life in a culture where science is worshiped and the High Echelon governs all. Max is a sickly, fragile child who must stay away from sunlight but his new found friend, Rose, and a wounded silver owl help him discover his real purpose. Kids like to see the underdog succeed and with this book they will not be disappointed. My problem with it was with the writing - more telling than showing, mor...more
Anne
Spoiler alert of sorts, though so very predictable:
Add this children's book to the collection of books in which a humble child is destined to save humans from the rise of dark forces. I have been looking for books that will be enjoyable for young readers (8-year-olds), but still have enough literary tension to challenge their thinking and engage them with the story. This book fits the bill. There is no nuance here--the characters are all written with a large stereotypical swipe of the pen. The...more
Kari


Though this is a middle grade novel with a main character who is 11, close to 12, this book is certainly not written on a elementary level. The writing is strong and the descriptions thorough, giving a great overall image and making it enjoying for readers of all ages. Particularly for this book, the age choice works beautifully, pulling the story in a way it wouldn't otherwise go if the main character was even just a few years older.

Max leads a unique life even in this dystopian setting, confin...more
Sarah S (An Abundance of Books)
I was super excited about this book; dystopia/fantasy for Middle Grade, what could be better? After reading Uglies about a year ago I have been reading all the dystopic, futuristic YA I can find, but I haven't really found many Middle Grade dystopias. So as soon as I heard about The Owl Keeper I knew I had to read it.

Brodien-Jones has crafted a beautiful, exciting, action-filled story perfect for middle graders. I couldn't put it down; I had to keep reading to see what was going to happen to Ma...more
Nikki (Wicked Awesome Books)
Years in the future, the world we all know has been transformed and the High Echelon is in charge of everything. The citizens are assigned to jobs and lives and the once beautiful land and wildlife is nonexistent. The silver owls that once roamed the skies are said to be extinct and both their song and their magic is gone. Max Unger is an often scared, frail eleven year old boy who has lived much of his life in the dark. Max is told that he is allergic to sun particles, so the majority of his ti...more
L. Gibbs
Jan 15, 2012 L. Gibbs rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: YA readers
I read this book at my daughter's request. It reminds me of The Giver and 1984 with a positive twist and is clearly written for the YA market. Though it seemed a bit slow right on into the middle of the book, it still held my attention for I was caught up enough to expect any moment for the things to go very wrong for Maxwell. There were several times I was wondering why the main character didn't just leave home, but how often do children feel they can just up and leave, especially when they are...more
Miss Clark
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bluerose's  Heart
I just adored this story!! It’s very clean and appropriate for all ages. A great thing about this book is, it’s great for boys, too. Sometimes it seems like there’s more options for girls to read. This is a book that will go on my son's book shelf for when he gets older. I loved it enough, that I’m sure I’ll be borrowing it from him to read again.
I loved that the author was able to “sneak in” little bits of educational facts into the story. I don’t know if she did this intentionally, but I think...more
Alyssa
I was a little skeptical about this one, mostly because of the dystopian type setting, however I persevered and read it through to the end! :) I would really shoot more for a 3.5 star rating, but not as far as 4 stars. Don't get me wrong this is a great book! (Before I get too in-depth, remember this is my personal opinion only, you may completely disagree with my entire review, but you should still read the book, despite what my or any review says!) :)

Now, first the cover is absolutely beautifu...more
Emily
I found this book very... pleasant. Now, I don't know if anyone else sees this the way I do, but I categorize books into two categories: The 123 this is what happens books, and the dreamy, skimming the surface books that are kinda deep-ish. It's just a feeling I get when I read the book, it's almost like I picture the setting according to the mood, like if the plot and words and characters are bright and clear, the mood of the book is just 'sunny' to me. If it's really deep and kind of wavers in...more
Mundie Moms & Mundie Kids
I am so captivated by the cover. It's beautiful. The illustrations at the beginning of each chapter are just as intriguing. Get ready to be swept away into an amazing world where nothing is what it seems, and as the darkness is taking over the world, the hope of many rests on two eleven and twelve year olds.

Max and Rose live in a world that has been taken over by The High Echelon. They have destroyed everything that was good in the world, and have killed off most of the animals, altered the wea...more
Tanja Voosen
Buchgestaltung

Ich liebe das Cover, denn ich liebe Eulen. Und das Cover ist so schön gestaltet. Es schafft eine perfekte Mischung aus mysteriösem und märchenhaftem. Ist die Eule nicht einfach nur supersüß? :) Ach ja, zum Titel und Inhalt passt es natürlich wie die Faust aufs Auge!

Meinung

Man merkt dem Buch deutlich an, das es für jüngere Leser konzipiert ist und trotzdem bin ich der Geschichte total erlegen, weil sie einfach zauberhaft war! Das Faszinierende an dem Buch war auch, das es typische S...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Steph for TeensReadToo.com

Set in the future, Max lives in a post-apocalyptic world that is ruled by the High Echelon. He is told he is allergic to the sun, so he goes out at night to sit under a tree and reminisce about the stories his grandmother used to tell him about the Owl Keeper.

His only friend is a silver owl that lives in the tree, an owl which the High Echelon says is evil.

One night, Max meets a mysterious girl under this tree. Her name is Rose, and once Max finds out that t...more
Lisa
This book really grabbed me right away. It was written in a very unique voice and the mix of dystopian, fantasy and the real world was really intriguing. I loved the first third of the book. It was really cool to see the the world that Maxwell lived in come into focus, and to see him start to figure things out with the help of Rose. I like all that conspiracy theory comes true stuff. That was very nicely done. But then it got into the "action" part of the story, where there was a lot of running...more
Reading Vacation
Max grew up listening to his gran spin marvelous stories about life before the Destruction. She would tell of a time before the darkness, before the frozen zone and the High Echelon existed, a time when there were plenty of books and silver owls. She also shared stories of the Owl Keeper, who united owls and sages in peace. Then, one day, gran was gone.

Shy and quiet Max is a sort of accidental hero. He doesn’t set out to do anything special, but it seems this is his destiny. When Max meets Rose,...more
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I've always been drawn to the mysterious “other worlds” we inhabit as children: the invisible secret worlds that adults never seem to notice. Much of my childhood was spent immersed in books (the library was just around the corner) and I wrote my first story at age seven about a girl and a dragon.

Branches of trees were the best places to read books. My favorites were fairy tales, fantasy and scien...more
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“Just because there were times you were frightened doesn't mean you weren't brave.” 4 likes
“Without doubt, it is the greatest act of courage that is often the most fearful.” 2 likes
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